Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Cllr Paul Reid has wished the borough’s athletes, coaches and support staff well ahead of the Commonwealth Games.
Sporting stars from the worlds of boxing, cycling, lawn bowls, shooting and weightlifting will compete at the event on Australia’s Gold Coast from April 4-15, 2018.
Council has also provided £5,000 of funding to Team NI to help support the athletes in their campaign.
There are 15 individuals from the borough travelling to Australia, making Mid and East Antrim one of the best represented council areas in Northern Ireland.
They are Damian Kennedy, boxing coach, Ballymena; Steven Donnelly, boxing, Ballymena; Gary McKeegan, cycling coach, Islandmagee; Eileen Burns, cycling, Connor; Martin McHugh, lawn bowls, Whitehead; Andrew Kyle, lawn bowls, Larne; Barbara Cameron, lawn bowls coach, Ballymena; Sally McAuley, lawn bowls, Carrickfergus, and Erin Smith, lawn bowls, Broughshane. There is also Clifford Barr, shooting coach, Ballymena; Stuart Hill, shooting, Ballymena; Karl McClean, weightlifting, Carrickfergus; Rebekah Thompson, weightlifting, Larne; Mandy McMaster, general team manager, Carrickfergus, and Simon Harland, lead physiotherapist, Whitehead.
A total of 88 athletes have been named to represent Northern Ireland; TeamNI will compete in thirteen sports during the 278 competition sessions of the eleven day programme.
Cllr Reid said: “I want to wish all those travelling to Australia and competing in the Games the best of luck. We are fortunate in Mid and East Antrim to have such a wealth of sporting talent competing and winning on the world stage.
“Council values the important role that sport plays within our community we consistently promote and develop all types of sporting and fitness activities.
“I hope that our communities across the borough will get behind these ambitious athletes and share their pride as they go for gold at the Gold Coast.”
The NI athletes will be joined by sport specific coaches, medical personnel, support staff and a headquarters team bringing the size of the travelling party to 134, the largest NI team to ever attend a Commonwealth Games in Australia.
The 21st Commonwealth Games have been billed by GOLDOC as the most inclusive ever and, for the first time at a global multi-sport Games, there is medal equity with an equal number available for men and women.